CoTweet and Curators Part I

Today’s a big news day here in Missouri, and all eyes are on the Millennium Student Center at the University of Missouri—St. Louis and the UM System Board of Curators.

The board meets today in St. Louis to discuss the latest draft of a new employee retirement plan (that’s where I come in), but will also have two executive sessions that will be closed to the public, the second of which will be a full board executive session behind closed doors (where everyone else comes in).

The student center should be packed — there’s been plenty of speculation that following this full board meeting, board chairman Warren Erdman will make an announcement regarding Mizzou’s allegiance to the Big 12 (or its infidelity with the SEC). MU has been flirting with the idea of pursuing another athletic conference for awhile, but as Harry Plumer told me yesterday: it’s time for MU to put up, or shut up.

Harry’s one of the Missourian’s MU Football writers, and has been covering MU’s position in the conference realignment for awhile. He and I will be in St. Louis for today’s meetings.

But a rumored conference announcement is not my interest (as a writer at least). Instead, I’ll be covering the curators’ discussion of the new retirement plan which has been a hot issue and even has the curators disagreeing. I’ve covered official Board of Curators meetings before, but what’s different today is that I have access to the @CoMissourian twitter account through CoTweet, an online engagement platform.

Even though I’d consider myself an experienced Twitter user, there is a sense of power associated with tweeting from @CoMissourian. In a way, the Missourian’s reputation is most vulnerable on Twitter and I’d hate to be that guy that tweets something embarrassing or incorrect from the paper’s handle.

Of course I’ll have plenty of support back in the Missourian newsroom from Community Outreach Director Joy Mayer and her on duty team member. They’ll be looking over my shoulder to edit tweets and keep mentioners engaged.

The ability to live-tweet important notes and quotes from the meeting isn’t exactly new to me, but I’ve never tweeted officially for the paper as part of my reporting. It’ll certainly be a valuable learning experience and I’m sure it won’t be the last time I incorporate live social media into my reporting.

Follow today’s meetings on Twitter from @zach_murdock and @CoMissourian, and keep an eye out for a “CoTweet and Curators Part II” follow-up post tomorrow morning.

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